Oh Brian Williams, you badass with a hot daughter. You’ve got nothing to do with the boxing schedule, but that’s the tradition round these parts. The schedule is looking decent this week, depending on your tastes, with top American heavyweight Bryant Jennings doing his thing on NBC Sports and a couple of featherweight bangers, Mikey Garcia and Juan Manuel Lopez, getting it on on HBO.
- Mikey Garcia vs. Juan Manuel Lopez, Saturday, HBO, Dallas. As ever, a fuller, juicier, more ample preview for the week’s biggest fight will be posted later in the week. Apart from creeping you out with my preview descriptions, I’ll also throw in my .02 of a dollar and let you know about the undercard. Quickly – JuanMa (33-2, 30 KO) was once a boxer-puncher but has devolved into a complete mess. Fortunately for him, he’s still got the power that made him exciting. Unfortunately for him he’s also still got the shaky chin that made him exciting. That shaky chin is bad news against a puncher like Garcia (31-0, 26 KO). Garcia is in a different galaxy of technicality to boot, so I don’t think JuanMa will see much beyond the 6th round. On the undercard, well regarded junior welterweight prospect Terence Crawford (20-0, 15 KO) makes his second HBO appearance against the unheralded Alejandro Sanabria (34-1-1, 25 KO). I think the idea here is to create some buzz for Crawford, who looked very skilled but a little lukewarm in beating Breidis Prescott earlier in the year. Junior middleweight Vanes Martirosyan is returning on the off TV portion of the undercard, if that’s your bag.
- Bryant Jennings vs. Andrey Fedosov, Friday, NBC Sports Net, Bethlehem Pa. Bryant Jennings (16-0, 8 KO) might be the best American heavyweight prospect (it’s basically a three horse race between him, Deontay Wilder and Malik Scott). He’s been featured a bunch on NBC Sports, generally in match-ups better than this. Fedosov is a tough and heavy hitting dude, but he’s flat-footed as all hell. Lance Whitaker boxed circles around him and Jennings is way better than Whitaker, if a bit smaller, so I expect him to do the same. On the undercard, top light heavyweight Sergey Kovalev (20-0-1, 18 KO) faces fringe contender Cornelius White (21-1, 16 KO). I think this one will be short and sweet. White has always given me the impression of being kind of fragile, and while he’s a decent boxer, I don’t think he’s good enough to avoid Kovalev’s bombs.
- The Rest. There’s a clash of undefeated bantamweight prospects on Friday Night Fights on ESPN2, with The Philippines’ Jundy Maraon (15-0-1, 12 KO) facing Juan Carlos Payano (13-0, 7 KO) in New Jersey… Fox Deportes has junior welterweight Roberto Ortiz (28-0-1, 22 KO) taking on Jorge Romero (24-5, 21 KO) coming off a loss.